A note to Honda

Like anything in this world, nothing is perfect, so does Honda and its products. In this entry series called ‘a note to Honda’, I’m casting away my fanboyness to anything Honda for constructive critiques.

Honda never shied away from using an existing platform for a wide variety of cars, some are amazing because of it, but some has weird peculiarity because it uses the same platform.

Honda built its car using global platforms, a mainstay term today but a unique concept back in the day. There was a time one platform called Honda small global platform underlines 5 model back in early 00’s with the Fit, Fit Aria (City), Airwave, Mobilio, and Mobilio Spike.

For more than a decade, Honda never use platform sharing as aggressive as back in the early 00’s with the Fit line. Now they are back with full force with the Brio line. Spanning 4 model line, it might not be as frugal as the Fit platform sharing, but it sets out what’s good and bad about Honda. I’ve wrote about the Brio platform in the past, but more of overview of the platform. Here I will be much more critical of the platform and many about Honda in general.

So next, let’s talk about the Brio.

 

Honda Freed 3258 Kilometers Later (prologue)

I never imagined the day that I will be tied down, let alone the idea of having a beautiful baby daughter. But that’s cycle of life I guess, where I’ve reached “that” time where sports coupe and massive wings are as dead as dinosaurs in everything four wheels.  I’ve been eyeing the Freed for quite sometimes and finally braved myself to take the plunge to a family hauler since necessity dictates that I need to carry baby’s essential which alone already took considerable space on my old Suzuki SX4 Type-S.

It’s a no brainer really when I put Honda Freed on top of my shop list. Whenever my family has a gathering, wherever that is will be an instant Honda dealer lot as all Honda all shape and model year parked in front. My previous Suzuki SX-4 is just me overcompensates my inability to purchase Honda CR-V, a fluke although I don’t have any complaint from owning the car. So anyway, I did my homework and researched the entire family hauler in Indonesia and short list either Honda Freed or Nissan Grand Livina as a final purchase. I finally chose Honda Freed for roomy cabin, captain seat, okay leg rooms, the whole shebang of i-VTEC, 5 speed auto, awesome dash and definitely for that fancy automatic sliding door.

My first impression is already covered in my many odd reviews of the car, this post supposed to cover my experience with the car on many driving scenarios. So there will be some repetition but it will also be backed up by some clarifications. So buckle up your seatbelts and prepare some snacks, because this will be long… In fact so long I decided to split the post into several bite sizes…

I actually wanted to do a write up with a catchy title like “a journey of 10000 Kilometers starts with a single step” telling my experience with the car across service schedules and trips. However, since my work is basically within walking distance, it’s over half a year now and I barely crack 5000 Kilometers with the car… Thank God though since fuel price is over US$1 per liter now, and I could use some savings… So 3258 Kilometers has passed, is the Freed lived up to my expectations? I can only start it with the word “preeminent” (come on, don’t be lazy, bing/google it… hint for google search, type define:preeminent).

Thanks For The Letters

Dear valued readers,

To sum this thank you post in one sentence would be a travesty to the emails you have sent to me. Ever since I put my email address on the bottom right of the sidebar, I’ve tons of emails to read (okay… But 18 emails from a live person not some spammers is a lot for me). Be sure that I will reply to you all, but most of all, I would like to publicly thank you all for the support and kind words.

But to answer the most basic question of why I wrote my blog mainly in English is because I wanted to practice my English, if it weren’t already bad enough in the real world… So I put most of my post in English. Technically speaking also, most of my readers (75% according to Google analytics) are from English speaking countries (with USA & Singapore leading the viewers).

So, all in all, thank you once again for all the supporting words and hoping that my blog post is any of use to you guys.

Best regards,

Michael Adhi

Freed Is Officially Launched… Price and all

Honda Freed Indonesia is officially launched, and behold the wonderful good news about the car.

The car, as I predicted is priced reasonably starting from Rp. 237 Million and topping out at Rp. 257 Million… I missed the pricing by about Rp. 3 Million as I predicted the car will be priced at Rp. 240 Million and Rp. 260 Million respectively.

The ground clearance, as I predicted also raises for about a good 5 mm, from the original Japanese Freed spec of 160 mm to 165 mm. Thanks to the use of a healthy 15″ rims and tires.

It’s not as tall as I expected, but remember, Toyota Alphard has only 170 mm of ground clearance for its top of the line model. So a 5 mm difference wouldn’t be too much, when Freed bottoms out on a section of road, most likely the Alphard does the same.

The car came exclusively with 7 seater configuration with optional advanced safety mechanism for the top of the line version.

Both version comes with 5 gear automatic transmission featuring Grade Logic Control which holds gears on uphill and downhill roads, shift holding mechanism which… Well, holds the gear when turning, which is nice to have although not necessary when you are not driving fast and furious. Finally, the autobox features torque converter lock up… Which I cannot fully comprehend technically… Suffice to say, Wikipedia article on it says fuel efficiency, so we go with that one.

The main engine power is still 118ps, same with the Japanese domestic model. Powerful but definitely needs RON 92 grade fuel, no thanks to its high compression ratio of 10.4:1. You can still uses lower grade Pertamina Premium fuel, but probably that power would go to waste… So if you want to unleash the full VTEC experience, stick with 92 grade fuel.

The main difference between the entry level and the top of the line Freed is the addition of:

  • Dual SRS Airbag (the entry level doesn’t have any airbag)
  • Front row armrest
  • Convenience hook behind the front seat
  • Sunvisor with vanity mirror
  • Finally, automatic sliding doors

For that much (Rp. 20 Million), the additional feature is actually quite a bargain. Just for that automatic sliding door, I see yuppies community will bought it at volume.

For the Asia Pacific region, this trim line will probably the same for you guys living in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Philippine. So, enjoy it for all your needs 🙂

So that’s that folks, my next family car for sure.

Source:

Honda Freed Indonesia official specification

JDM Honda Stream Refreshed, Adds RST Trim

It’s official, Honda just refreshed its famous lean 7 seater MPV, the Stream.

Notable improvement (for all models) are:

  1. Refreshed front and rear bumpers.
  2. Retuned suspension settings.
  3. New “smoked” rearlights.
  4. The addition of the RST trim.

The RST trim is quite a turnaround, and can be called the biggest twist in the story. Honda already gives the RSZ trim for Stream which is the highest trim level, but here it is, RST… Is it a downscale of RSZ? Or an even upscaled RSZ? Not quite!

The RST is actually the “performance” variant of the RSZ. Sporting bigger 17″ rims, it has reduced weight thanks to the removal of the third row seat… Yes, they remove the seat. Instead of putting a turbo engine which enthusiasts has hoped from the obvious T… They just remove the seats! Making Stream RST a wagon or some sort. Oh, and they retune the suspension for sportier driving.

The engine still comes in two flavors, the 1.8L i-VTEC @ 140ps and 2.0L i-VTEC @ 150ps… So, calling the RST a “sporty” wagon should be unjustified.

Pictures will follow… A lot of crap going on right now…

Source:

Official Japanese Honda Stream refreshed

Newsflash: Freed Receives Very Minor Updates! Wha?

News so flashy it blinds your eyes! Honda Freed has received the best selling minivan status in Japan for 5 straight months from November 2008 to March 2009. Thus, Freed insane popularity in Japan has warrant Honda engineers to mildly refresh the car in a very discreet fashion. Very discreet actually, you cannot see it and it might just count as an addition of a trim level.

First and foremost, the Freed does receives an extra trim level dubbed “just selection”… According to Google effort. However, Yahoo Babel Fish translate the trim level as “jiyasutoserekushiyon”, and if you add some cing-cong language there, then “jiyasuto” is pronounced as “jay-su” or sounds like just and “serekushiyon” is pronounced as “se-rection” or sounds like selection (Japanese words doesn’t have “L”).  So, Google might have the edge here… Or Honda just have something about erection on Freed latest trim.

G Just Selection profile

Anyway, the “Just Selection” trims ads HID as a standard item for the G trim and the G Aero receives standard 15″ aluminum wheel and heated windshield wiper… Get it right folks, heated wiper, not heated windshield, although the heating element is on the windshield. The logic behind this is to make the wiper melts snow particles to reduce tearing effect of the blade on the long run.

You just don’t believe me do you…

As for the price, the standard G is priced at 1.699 Million Yen, while the “Just Selection” is priced at 1.794 Million Yen. A difference of 95K Yen or US$1K, and you get factory warranted HID lights, nice enough. The G Aero “Just Selection” have a different of 132K Yen or US$1.2K  from the basic G Aero… Nice enough, but I don’t think the heated wiper will help non snowing countries.

So a trim level addition? Pfft… Not worth having “minor update” status. Wait! I forgot to mention that all Freed captain seat version now have their second row seat to slide an extra 40mm/4cm, and map lights and grab rails as standard.

Now I wonder if Honda Indonesia will incorporate the above additions for the Freed imminent release… At least the grab rails and extra sliding distance, because both really adds another value towards the car. Safety while entering the car, and extra leg room if needed .

Oh, and for you Indonesian readers, I have some bad news about Freed’s price. I heard news from the street that the price is hovering steady at Rp 270 Million when the Freed launches. Wowza… At that price point you can get a brand new (old gen) Nissan Serena or Toyota Innova for less. But it’s still up in the air as it’s just a word from the street, and who knew… Miracles do come true you know, at least I’ve witnessed a couple.

Source:

Honda of Japan Official Freed Update Page

New Blog Feature! Finally!!

This blog might be a leisurely past time for me, but it is indeed a training ground for me to brush up on my english and the knowledges I accumulated over the years.

As such, the blog will occasionally be updated with the latest internet technology available. For this slight update, I’m adding up a twitter feeder on the top right bar, and if you open this blog on your mobile phone, it will automatically displays itself as a mobile website, how cool is that!!! You can watch my witty comments on the go now.

The twitter updates will off course be frequent, and it might just divulge some info on some waited entries on this blog. I also updated my “about me and ze blog” page, you will see a drastic change in my approach in writing, as future blog entry will be much much much much much more light and in some instance might be fun to read.

So here’s for a better future!

Unofficially Official, Honda Freed IS Coming to Indonesia

Well, according to an interview of a local online media with Honda Indonesia Marketing Director, Mr. Jonfis Fandi that is.

The impromptu information was out in a yearly media gathering held in Jakarta. It is confirmed by the head honcho that the Freed is indeed coming to Indonesia in the 2nd trimester of 2009 (that’s middle of the year), and what’s more, it will be Freed’s debut outside of Japan… Wowza! This backwater country actually got an exclusive debut of THE most waited Honda in 2009! (at least in term of affordability… Hybrid this ain’t)

With the rumors Honda Indonesia is canceling bringing Freed to Indonesia, this is quite a news. Price wise, Honda Indonesia is touting that volatile foreign currency/local exchange rate make them unable to guesstimate the local price for the Freed. Final price will be announced near the actual car launch date. Whatever it is, the price might land between US$2300 to US$25000 considering local Honda City is priced at US$24000 to US$26000. It’s common to price 7 seater MPV below a sedan in some parts of Asia as sedan is considered more luxurious than an MPV.

All I can say, godspeed bringing this car back home Mr. Jonfis. We’ll be waiting with arms wide open… Although I’m keeping my SX4 Crossover.

New Feature Added… Like This Blog Needed One…

Okay, work, live and everything in between prohibits me to continually updates this blog. So I’m going to put use this blog like any blog there is, a place to put my inspirations and thoughts… Although still focusing on Honda related stuff. But truth be told, the form of this inspirations and thoughts will be more of a chatter, so from here on end, there’s a new category on this blog, chatter.

The occasional extensively long post will be here now and then, but more or less the short chatter is here to stay.